Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Africa
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-----------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-----------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Sport 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 
Friday, 3 December, 1999, 17:28 GMT
Ethiopians push SA for Mengistu extradition
Mengistu Haile Mengistu: Blamed for red terror campaign

By Greg Barrow in Johannesburg

A diplomatic wrangle is under way between the South African and the Ethiopian governments over a request for the extradition to Ethiopia of the country's former president Mengistu Haile Mariam.


"It is not understandable why Ethiopia would make such a request to South Africa, when they have not made the request to Zimbabwe
South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma
Former President Mengistu is in South Africa receiving medical treatment and the Ethiopian Government say Mr Mengistu should be returned to his home country to face charges of genocide and crimes against humanity allegedly committed during his 17 years as head of state.

Mr Mengistu has been pursued by the current Ethiopian Government ever since he fled the country in 1991 as rebel forces closed in on the capital Addis Ababa.

For much of the past eight years, Mr Mengistu has been living in Zimbabwe, a country which granted him asylum and has repeatedly refused extradition requests from Ethiopia.

Undisclosed illness

His recent visit to South Africa to seek medical treatment for an undisclosed illness, revived hope in Ethiopia that the former president might be extradited.

The Ethiopian Government says it has lodged a formal request for extradition saying that Mr Mengistu faces charges of genocide and crimes against humanity in his home country.

But the South Africans say all they have had is an approach from the Ethiopian embassy in Pretoria and as the countries are not signatories to a formal extradition treaty, Mr Mengistu is unlikely to be sent back to his homeland.

This will disappoint the Ethiopian authorities who hold Mr Mengistu responsible for what has become known as the red terror campaign, a bloody battle between rival marxist factions in which thousands of people were killed.

Despite his absence, Ethiopian courts are already trying Mr Mengistu and hundreds of other government officials accused of directing the killings which took place in the late 1970s.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
Africa Contents

Country profiles

See also:
26 Nov 99 |  Africa
Ethiopia tells South Africa: Extradite Mengistu
09 Sep 98 |  Africa
Ethiopia releases officers

Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
Links to other Africa stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories